Amsterdam Villa is Sustainable, Spectacular and Serene

A modern and sustainable villa that takes full advantage of its serene waterside location sits on an island at the outskirts of Amsterdam. It’s a stunning sustainable design by Marc Architects of that serves as a functional urban home as well as escape for its owners. The colors throughout are earthy and natural, connecting the interior with the outdoors through natural textures, plenty of large windows and strategically used rustic touches.

This compact villa makes the most of the space available in an open, airy floor plan.

Sustainability is a big factor throughout the house, including on the exterior. The facades of the house are covered with a ribbed surface made of aluminum that helps cool the structure. They also add interest to the exterior surface by reflecting the light differently throughout the day, depending up on the time and the angle of the sun. The ribs on the surface are at 90-degree angles, which, along with the color, helps to keep it cool. From a distance, the house looks smooth and white, but upon closer inspection you can see the dramatically ribbed panels.

The house takes up about 300 square meters and has a 35 square-meter terrace, achieved by offsetting the second floor to the south to allow plenty of sunlight to shine on the gardens along the waterfront.

The thoroughly modern exterior belies the natural feeling interior.
The front entrance is underneath the overhang and leads into the main part of the house.
The ribbed aluminum covers the facade and the underside of the extended upper floor.View in gallery
The ribbed aluminum covers the facade and the underside of the extended upper floor.
View in gallery
The aluminum is also used on the back side of the waterfront villa.

The main floor of the house features an open floor plan with a comfortable living area toward the front of the house. The kitchen and dining area is set off from the entryway and living room by a few steps and is at garden level. Best of all, it faces the back of the house and offers the most spectacular views of the water.

While the design of the interior is decidedly modern, it is far from cold or harsh. The use of rustic and unfinished materials, in combination with a subdued palette that does not feature a lot of shine, helps keep the space warm and inviting. The accent wall by the fireplace is fashioned from 200-year-old Canadian barn wood as are the bathroom accent walls and sliding doors. All the floors throughout the space are smooth and easy care for a no-hassle lifestyle, something that children as well as adults will appreciate.

The modern space includes just enough rustic accents to keep the feel warm and inviting.

The fireplace is front and center in the living area, however the entire house is heated with geothermal power. In fact, the house is not even connected to the energy grid that supplies the island. The architects used a special system that helps warm the structure by recycling thermal energy.  Even better, almost all of the electricity that the house uses is solar-based. Between the LED lights, highly efficient insulating aluminum shell and the triple glass window frames, the house is exceptionally energy efficient and sustainable.

The minimalist stairs and the kitchen cabinets are made from untreated steel panels featuring the roll patterns that were created when the steel was flattened.

The large entryway and glass-fronted rail add drama to the stairway.

The back of the house provides unfettered views of the surrounding water. The big window is actually a sliding door that  measures 8 meters wide and can be opened to enjoy the fresh air in good weather. The kitchen also opens onto a deck that has seating, along with a walkway that leads through the gardens and to the water’s edge.

The interior lighting is very cozy and warm.
The view of the yard and water from the kitchen can be enjoyed in all kinds of weather.View in gallery
The view of the yard and water from the kitchen can be enjoyed in all kinds of weather.
View in gallery
The back of the house and gardens are natural and low maintenance.

The upstairs of the villa includes four bedrooms of various sizes, two bathrooms and a dressing area. The house also has a basement that houses a guest room, a large storage area, wine cellar and utility area for mechanical installations.

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Thin steel steps are a marvelous counterpoint to the rustic all.

The upper floor features a marvelous outdoor balcony that has water views in three directions. The wood of the walls and floor are an extension of the rustic accents that are used inside the home.

This is a far more private space than the lower patio off the kitchen.

One of the upstairs bathrooms is done in a neutral gray palette that is very calming and fits well with the rest of the house. The walls look like a matte concrete, and have modern cube wall sconces, which contrast with the rustic wood vanity and sliding barn door. A free-standing bathtub is the focal point of the bathroom, while rustic baskets and a ladder towel holder serve as well-matched accents.

The same smooth floor is featured in the bathrooms as the rest of the house.
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The modern vessel sinks, similar to the tub, accent the rustic vanity.